Extreme political views have come to be the platform of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates, and it is not pretty. Viewers of the April 22 CNN town halls with Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg saw extremism on display. Sanders actually proposed the idea of restoring voting rights for incarcerated mass murderers, rapists and other felons.
This is not the Democratic Party that our parents grew up with, nor even the party of Presidents Kennedy, Clinton and Obama. The new Democratic Party is loaded with left-wingers who have changed the party agenda to one of severely higher taxes, out-of-control spending and politically correct social engineering.
Sen. Klobuchar kicked off the televised town hall and played the moderate, which is easy when others in the party have embraced full-blown Democratic socialism. Her anything-but-inspirational pitch led to her having to order the assembled New Hampshire attendees to clap when she made a lame joke about winning former GOP Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s old district in her Senate race. Klobuchar was exposed for cronyism when she was asked why “in 2010 you petitioned the USDA to keep frozen pizzas in school lunches, therefore allowing for the sauce to be counted as a vegetable, in order to support the business of Minnesota frozen foods company.” She responded by claiming that she regretted sending the letter, but the truth is that she regrets getting caught red-handed in abandoning her principles to help out a constituent. One hopes no briefing binders were hurled by Klobuchar at her staff after the senator’s dud of a presentation.
Next up was Sen. Warren, who rolled out trillions of dollars in new spending ideas. Don’t like your student loan debt? Sen. Warren has a $1.25 trillion idea to forgive all that debt. If you are jealous of the rich, she proposes new taxes on job creators to make you feel better about punishing success.
The irony is that the transformation of political-opportunist Warren from conservative to socialist happened when she decided to become politically active. According to an April 12 story in Politico, “records from the time Warren spent living in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts make clear that she was a registered Republican for at least several years of her mid-career adult life. It was not until 1996 — when Warren was 47 years old and a newly minted Harvard law professor — that she changed her registration from Republican to Democrat.” Warren’s honesty about her Native American heritage has been called into question, and her transformation from Reagan Republican to Ocasio-Cortez Democratic socialist further exposes her for being a fraud.
The honest candidate who took the stage was the socialist senator — who fits comfortably into the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate — Bernie Sanders. He shocked even the most progressive voter when he pushed the idea of prisoner voting rights. When asked if he thought the incarcerated Boston Marathon terrorist-bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserved his voting rights back, Sanders explained that he supported the right to vote for even the most “terrible people.” Somebody should have followed up and asked him if it was a violation of these convicted felons’ civil rights to be behind bars and in jail.
Sanders has experienced the other Democratic socialists adopting his agenda of socialized medicine, free college tuition for all and oppressive tax rates. Therefore, he needed to push the envelope even further. Credit should be given to Sanders for being the true leader of the Democratic Party that has spawned radical Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Sen. Kamala Harris kicked off her town hall talk with a call for gun control, free college and a four-year phase-out of private health insurance. When asked about reparations for the descendants of former slaves, Harris hedged and said: “I support that we study that.” When people run for president and show leadership, they seldom propose to study issues; they propose action. This is clearly an attempt by Sen. Harris to play both sides of the issue so she can claim she supports reparations, and yet, if she gets hit with criticism, she can punt to “studying” the issue further. This is the opposite of a profile in courage by the same senator who has had to walk-back earlier comments that she supported the abolition of all health insurance for Americans.
Closing out the five hours of a mind-numbing infomercial supporting Democratic socialism was empty-suit Mayor Pete Buttigieg. CNN host Anderson Cooper asked the mayor why his campaign website has “no policy section on it.” He responded by saying, “I also think it's important that we not drown people in minutiae before we've vindicated the values that animate our policies.” In other words, he does not want to put out policy proposals because he is running a stealth socialist campaign for the purpose of hiding his real views, if he is unlucky enough to face President Donald Trump in a general election.
CNN put extreme political views on display and this town hall further cemented the idea that the Democratic Party of the past is now the “Socialist Democratic Party” where the candidates have all adopted a Bernie Sanders-lite platform. The American people will not be fooled and are unlikely to entrust our nation’s future to anti-business, government-loving politicians.
Corey R. Lewandowski is President Trump’s former campaign manager and co-host of the podcast “Deep in the Swamp.” He is a senior adviser to the Great America Committee, Vice President Mike Pence's political action committee. He is co-author with David Bossie of the new book, “Trump’s Enemies,” and of “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.” Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.